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The chicken in the “chicken and egg” soba was so tough I swore that it had seen active service in the First World War. I was of course the only customer (well, it was gone 2pm).

Please give the exact meaning. It was written by a native English-speaker on his blog. What are other examples of such a usage of "gone"?

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2 Answers 2

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It means that it was after 2 pm - so there weren't many people around (they'd finished their lunches earlier). It is not particularly good English - rather colloquial.

Clearly, you could substitute almost any time and end up with an equivalent expression. You could have some other expressions such as "it was gone AWOL" (I went looking for the TV remote but it was gone AWOL - absent without leave).

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Yes it is a very woody word :) youtube.com/watch?v=-gwXJsWHupg –  mplungjan Apr 2 '11 at 16:14

In British English, gone, when used with a time reference as in the sentence you reported, means past.

It's gone half past eleven.

In American English gone is not used with that meaning.

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